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Dalton Legal Issues Blog

The home study requirement for adoptions

Georgia residents may choose to adopt a child for many reasons, and each is highly personal. If you wish to add to your family through adoption, you may have concerns about the requirements. McCamy, Phillips, Tuggle & Fordham, LLP often represents clients who want to expand their family, helping them navigate the regulations and laws regarding the process.

According to American Adoptions, Georgia requires a home study before filing an adoption petition. This includes a minimum of at least three separate visits. Although they do not all need to take place in the home, at least one must take place there. The child-placing agency representative interviews each member of your family, separately as well as together. The information gathered includes the following:

  • A description of the community, neighborhood and home
  • The mental and emotional health of each family member
  • A summary of each person’s current health and health history
  • The motivation for the adoption
  • An evaluation of the finances and work situation of the prospective parents

Mediation's benefits are important to any divorce case

Going through a divorce or problem in your family can leave you at your wit's end. You may not have any other ideas on how to handle the stress or frustration that come with trying to negotiate your way out of a bad situation. The fortunate thing to remember is that there are options, such as working with professionals, that can help you resolve almost any kind of dispute.

One of the best options for those going through divorce or family problems is mediation. Mediation has a number of massive benefits, but perhaps the most significant is that it teaches people how to work through their disagreements in a more productive manner. This can help major conflicts in the future or help people respond to them appropriately when they do take place.

19-year-old deputy killed in Georgia crash

When people in Georgia think of motor vehicle accidents, they probably think of collisions between civilian vehicles. Law enforcement officers are the ones who respond to the scene, assess the situation, facilitate treatment for those who need it, keep the public safe and traffic moving along smoothly. 

However, that is not necessarily the way it always happens. In fact, law enforcement officers are as vulnerable to accidents on the roadways as civilian drivers. Residents of Glascock County, Georgia, received a somber reminder of that fact last Tuesday afternoon when a 19-year-old deputy with the sheriff's department died in a collision with another vehicle. 

Telling tax fraud and negligence apart

Dalton residents could face a number of challenges that might lead to mistakes in filing their taxes this year. Fortunately, making a genuine mistake isn't going to have a catastrophic impact. There are differences between tax fraud and negligence that set the two acts apart.

The Internal Revenue Services (IRS) has somewhat of a poor reputation as an organization many dislike. However, they can also be very understanding. They know that genuine tax mistakes do happen, and that these issues are actually much more common than intentional tax fraud or evasion. But how exactly are the two differentiated, and how does a mistake through negligence affect a tax payer?

Commercial driving DUI regulations in Georgia

Georgian drivers who possess a commercial driver's license (CDL) have a lot of great job opportunities available to them. They also have a lot of responsibilities simply because of the position they hold. One such way that this manifests itself is in the harsh penalties and strict regulations commercial drivers face in regard to DUI-related charges.

FindLaw takes a look at the commercial DUI regulations as set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The first thing they focus on is which type of driver falls under the umbrella term "commercial driver". This can be anyone from private motor carriers to federal government employees. Perhaps surprising to some, even people who assign drivers to operate vehicles and those who lease or own the vehicles being used must follow the FMCSA guidelines.

How do traumatic brain injuries affect your life?

Georgian residents who get into a big accident may struggle with numerous impacts on their health over time. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are one such example. If you have suffered from a TBI, you will likely be dealing with the consequences for a long time to come.

BrainLine takes a look at the impact of moderate to severe TBI in particular. These are the injuries that can affect you in multiple areas of your life. The impacts can be physical, emotional, and mental. They can affect your cognitive abilities, such as memory or concentration. It can affect your temperament, too. People with TBIs are more likely to have mood swings or sudden, unexplained bursts of anger or other strong emotions.

Follow these 4 steps if you're in a collision

No one expects that they're going to get into their vehicles to go to work or school and end up in a serious collision. Most people believe that they'll head out for the day and get to where they're going, moving on with their lives.

The sad reality is that motor vehicle accidents can involve anyone at any time. Whether you're on a rural road or a busy interstate, there is always a chance of getting into a crash. If you do end up in a crash, you'll want to know what you can do to help yourself.

Accident fatality statistics in Georgia

You have no doubt noticed that new car models include an increasing number of features designed to improve safety. Some of these features, like airbags, focus on reducing injuries in the event of an accident. Other features, like forward collision warning, are geared toward prevent accidents altogether. Noticing these improvements, you might assume that Georgia roads and highways are safer than in years past. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily the case.

According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of people who died in motor vehicle accidents in Georgia in 2017 was significantly higher than in three out of four of the previous years. In 2013 and 2014, the state experienced 1,180 and 1,164 traffic fatalities, respectively. In 2015, another 1,432 people died. The following year saw another jump to 1,556. The 1,540 deaths in 2017 marked only a slight decline from that. 

Georgia driver collides with patrol car on New Year's Day

Even under the best of circumstances, no one particularly wants to have a run-in with law enforcement. One driver in Alpharetta, Georgia, allegedly had a run-in with law enforcement under perhaps the worst possible circumstances on New Year's Day, crashing into a patrol car parked along the highway early Tuesday morning. The female driver now faces charges for traffic-related offenses, including driving under the influence. Authorities believe that her blood alcohol content may have been three times the legal limit. 

It is unknown whether the driver sustained any injuries in the accident, nor is it clear whether she remains in custody. Law enforcement officers at the scene remain uninjured because they were out of their vehicles at the time of the collision. 

Why do you need a will?

You may think that the only people in Georgia who need to worry about estate planning are the elderly, but that is not true. All adults should take the step of making out a will. The reason is that life is unpredictable and death does not discriminate by age. If you were to pass away in your 30s or 40s with no will in place, it can cause difficulty for the loved ones you leave behind.

A will is especially important if you have children. If you were to pass on while still in your 30s or 40s, your children may still be quite young and in need of a guardian to care for them. FindLaw points out that, by naming a guardian for your children in your will, you can ensure that your dependents will be in the care of someone you trust. On the other hand, if you do not have a will that names a guardian for your children, the court will have no choice but to choose a guardian from among your surviving family members or a state-appointed guardian. In either case, the ultimate choice may be counter to how you would have chosen for your offspring. 

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